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The History and Ethical Issues of the Tuskegee Study

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Brielle Grissett

on 10 April 2013

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Transcript of The History and Ethical Issues of the Tuskegee Study

1932 The History and Ethical Issues Of The Tuskegee Study Quick Outline: 1932 to 1972
Longest non-therapeutic experiment done on human beings
Macon County, Alabama
Over 600 men were part of this experiment with syphilis: 400 infected and 200 without the disease
Eager to volunteer for study, because they thought they were getting treated for "Bad Blood" Study Begins Offered free medical care and other incentives
Hired a black nurse, Rivers, to associate with men
Announcements made in churches and fields
Recruiting "subjects" for study
Men with syphilis encourages to return
Never told they had syphilis Some Incentives: Free rides
Free meals
Free treatments for aliments
Other than syphilis
Burial stipend
If they agreed to autopsy 1943 PHS Giving Penicillin to Other People Given to other people in same county
Tuskegee men never given penicillin
Were refused penicillin/treatment wherever they went
"Subjects" not "patients" 1940 Penicillin Deemed Effective Treatment 1966 Dr.Buxtun's First Letter Former PHS interviewer and investigator
Sent letter to Director of the Division of Venereal Diseases
Questioned morality of the experiment
Questioned if men were being treated
Wondered if men were aware of study 1968 Dr. Buxtun's Second Letter To Director of the Division of Venereal Diseases again
Forwarded letters to the Director of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC)
Concerns about racial unrest 1969 CDC Panel Discussed experiment
Decided to continue experiment until the "end"
When the autopsies were done 1972 Study Makes National Headlines Dr. Buxtun shared knowledge with press
Caused an uproar 1972 CDC Panel Convenes: Study Ended 1974 The Settlement Families and victims receive 10 million dollars
They also receive free health care 1974 Congress Acts National Research Act
National Commission for the Protection of human Subjects of Biomedical and Behavioral Research 1997 An Apology From the President Our President at the time President Bill Clinton invited the last of the Tuskegee Study survivors and family to the White House for a national apology.
In his apology he states:
To the survivors, to the wives and family members, the children and the grandchildren, I say what you know: No power on Earth can give you back the lives lost, the pain suffered, the years of internal torment and anguish. "What was done cannot be undone. But we can end the silence. We can stop turning our heads away. We can look at you in the eye and finally say, on behalf of the American people: what the United States government did was shameful. "And I am sorry."
~Bill Clinton 1990 Second Survey By Southern Christian Leadership Conference
30 percent not sure if the government was or wasn't responsible for AIDS epidemic
Dr. Taylor, says results are a result of the Tuskegee study 1993 Interview with Dr. Olansky Director of study from 1950 to 1957
"The fact that they were illiterate was helpful too, because they couldn't read the newspapers and seen what was going on." Problems Today: Lack of participants for AIDS studies
Mistrust of hospitals
Won't go in for treatment
Die or suffer unnecessarily Related to: Experiments done by Nazis
Human radiation experiments
Other horrific studies Principals of Ethics: Results: Several died from syphilis
Hundreds died from complications
Family of subjects' were infected
Wives and children
Some acts of congress
Mistrust of government
No results from actual study Sites for Pictures:
http://health-equity.pitt.edu/347/ Citations:
Robertiello, Gina. “Tuskegee syphilis study.” The Forties in America. Ed. Thomas Tandy Lewis. Salem Press, 2010. Salem History Web. 06 Nov. 2012.

Shipp, Renee Imani. “The Tragedy of the Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment: Bad Blood.” HealthQuest Feb 28 1996: 16-. Ethnic NewsWatch. Web. 6 Nov. 2012 .

Thomas, Stephen B. “The Legacy of Tuskegee.” The Body. Remedy Health Media, Feb. 2000. Web. 9 Nov. 2012. <http://www.thebody.com/content/art30946.html>.

Thomas, Stephen B., and Sandra C. Quinn. "The Tuskegee Syphilis Study, 1932 to 1972: Implications for HIV Education and AIDS Risk Education Programs in the Black Community." American Journal of Public Health 81.1 (1991): 4. Web. 1 Nov. 2012. <http://minority-health.pitt.edu/393/1/The_Tuskegee_Syphilis_Study_1932_to.pdf>.

“U.S. Public Health Service Syphilis Study at Tuskegee.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. USA.gov, 15 June 2011. Web. 9 Nov. 2012. <http://www.cdc.gov/tuskegee/after.htm>. Nazi experiments Tuskegee experiments Nurse Rivers, Doctors, and "subjects" Doctor drawing blood from "subject" Original article about study Blood being drawn The Doctors: Dr. Taliaferro Clark

Dr. Clark's name is most commonly associated with the start of the Tuskegee Syphilis Study.Clark wrote a colleague in defense of the use of deception in calling the spinal taps "treatment", "These negroes are very ignorant and easily influenced by things that would be of minor significance in a more intelligent group." Clark retired the year after the beginning of the study. Dr. Eugene Dibble

Dr. Dibble was head of the John Andrew Hospital at the Tuskegee Institute. Dr. Oliver C. Wenger

Dr. Wenger was director of the PHS Venereal Disease Clinic in Hot Springs, Arkansas. He was an enthusiastic supporter of mass screening for syphilis and mass treatment programs in the black community. At various stages of the Rosenwald Fund project and the Tuskegee Syphilis Study, Wenger was attached to the Macon County activities, and he played a critical role in developing early study protocols. Dr. Raymond H. Vonderlehr
Vonderlehr as the on-site director of the Tuskegee Syphilis Study in 1932. He decided to gain the "consent" of the men for the painful and invasive spinal taps (to look for signs of neurosyphilis) by depicting the diagnostic tests as a "special free treatment." Nurse Eunice Rivers

Trained at Tuskegee and was working at the John Andrew Hospital .Nurse Rivers became the chief continuity person and was the only staff person to work with the study for all 40 years of its existence What is Syphilis?
Syphilis is sexually transmitted disease caused by a bacteria. If not treated with the proper medicine such as penicillin it can cause serious damage to the body.
It occurs in several stages:
Primary Stage
Secondary Stage
Latent Stage Primary Stage Primary Stage: Appearance of a firm, small, usually painless sore that last from 10-90 days after contacting the disease Secondary Stage Appearance of skin rash and/or mucous membrane lesions
Can also have flu like symptoms. Latent Stage Asymptomatic
Can last for many years
Damage Internal organs
Can also result to Paralysis, and becoming blind. Autonomy: men of the Tuskegee study wasn’t really given the option to make a choice if they wanted to be part of the study or not, they were being deceived into thinking that they receiving free treatment which wasn’t true
Beneficence:The PHS and the doctors who conducted this study didn’t do anything to help the men, even when there was a treatment for the syphilis they refused to give it to them.
NonMaleficence: everything that had to do with the study was the opposite of nonmaleicience. The hurtful spinal taps, and letting them suffer and waiting for them to die. Justice:During the study the patients of the Tuskegee study had no justice at all they were manipulated and their right were taken away. However, they receive some type of justice win the end when they received money from a law suit.
Veracity: All the men in the study were manipulated and lied too, thinking that they were being treated for "bad blood" Their wasn't any truth or honesty in the study. No informed consent.
The Value of the Person: The men of the study were treated like lab rats. They weren't valued as individuals.
Confidential: This was the only thing that was not violated, the records and documentation wasn't shared.
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